Acer chief executive Stan Shih fleshed out details of his planned XC thin clients on a visit to London today.
But he admitted that one of the devices had been delayed for six months after Microsoft persuaded Acer to adopt Windows CE as the operating system.
Shih said that the machine, aimed at the educational market, was ready to ship with a Dos based operating system. But he said: "Microsoft attempted to persuade us to use CE so we had to postpone it for six months." Prices for XC machines, which were first previewed last spring, will now start at $200. They are designed to provide very low cost, thin client devices that conform to multiple standards.
He said that Acer was leveraging the PC infrastructure and was in the process of talking to a number of software and other partners about the platform.
The company will produce at least five machines - the mobile X100, the Compact X200, a set-top unit called the X300, and two desktops called the X500 the X700.
But Shih said: "We are waiting for our partners to define a specification for some of these products. We are looking to be a partner with all the IT players. We can share the risk with our partners but it requires a lot of entrepreneurship."
He claimed that by 2002, the number of information appliances will outnumber PCs in the US consumer market, while by 2005, they will outnumber PCs worldwide.
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